Monday, 11 August 2014

Understanding the Gay Community

Some think all LGBT people are the same.

I use the term gay inclusive. This isn't the only understanding of the word, some use it to refer only to male homosexuality, but my use of the term is also legitimate. For me the term expresses a unique aspect of the LGBT community. The term gay originally meant happy, carefree, or cheerful and in that definition I see something very important about gay people. The fact is that gay people are being discriminated against throughout the world and that binds then into a group with a very strong identity. Just like gay people struggle outside of the community; they are cheerful and carefree within the gay community.
Gay people share the same kind of problems. At first they struggle to understand what is going on within them, and then they realize that people reject others with the same issue, and then they have to decide how they are going to respond. They have to decide whether they are going to keep it a secret, whether they are going to live out their sexuality, whether they are going to share their secret with straight people, and who they are going to share it with. Gay people have to learn how to survive rejection, hate, and discrimination. They have to learn unique skills of meeting other gay people, understanding gay relationships, and friendship. The have to face the chance of being cut off from their friends and family - sometimes when they are still very young. Even finding information about yourself or others like you can be difficult. In the past it was even tougher. You couldn't surf the internet to find information, you had to find your information elsewhere, or you had nothing and nobody to turn to. These and other similarities between gay people bind them into an international family that straight people will not understand. Most of us have friends throughout the world because we have so much in common that it transcends borders and boundaries.
Unfortunately you also have to learn the hard way that similarities do not mean that you will always be friends with everybody in the community. Like all communities we are a diverse group of people with different faiths, personalities, philosophies, morals, ethics, social economic status, and tastes. Thinking that everybody within the community will have your best interest at heart is a serious mistake that have hurt many gay people. As usual your family can hurt you much more than strangers can and it is an eye-opener to realize that you also get gay serial killers, thieves, crooks, and criminals. Not everybody is your friend. Like young girls who were abused at home and left to find somebody that will look after them just to find the nearest pimp with empty promises; gay children also run away from the abuse at home just to run into a predator that do not really care about them. Humanity in its foulest form is also present in the gay community.
For some reason the media like to portray gay people as rich, white, gay men and strong, white, professional, rich gay women. This is but another stereotype. The gay community is just as diverse as the straight community. The community is even similar in the proportions of rich/poor, male/female, white/black or what ever other boundary you might think of.
Therefor it would be best if you do not see the gay community as all good or all promiscuous. They look and act just like straight people and the so-called gay community are just as varied. Just like everybody else we make friends that we can relate to and it wouldn't even necessarily be gay people we befriend.
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Monday, 4 August 2014

Coming Out - Does Everybody Need to Know?

Do you have to tell everybody?
Expert Author Brand Doubell
In the gay community there are a stigma clinging to closeted gay people. The fact that we stand together against homophobia or any other form of bigotry means that we expect everybody to keep to his/her guns. Almost something like: if you want our protection you should be out and proud about whom you are. If you are going to crawl back into the closet every time there might be danger on the front we can't trust you. I might be exaggerating a bit, but among some gay groups people feel really serious about this. Maybe it is a group thing - as a group we are stronger than as individuals and we need to know that you wouldn't run away.
This is not true in every case; the gay community understand the fear people have for that first coming out experience. We all had to take that first step and nobody forgets the courage it took. It isn't as if the community looks down on closeted gay people; they have a problem with those who come out, run back, come out just to run back yet again. If you are out, you are out for better or worse - you do not run back for every single stumbling block.
On the other hand coming out is a gradual thing. We all understand that you are not going to tell everybody that you are gay the moment you come out. You might start with your parents and if they are okay with it you might continue to tell the rest of your family. Later you might tell most of your friends, but it is possible that you feel scared to tell your boss - especially if you could lose your job over it. Coming out isn't a brainless act - if they are going to kill you for being gay, keep it to yourself.
That brings us to the actual question in the title of this article - is it really necessary to tell everybody? I purposefully exaggerated the gay community's feelings on people who are closeted in the first paragraphs of this article. I did that to make it clear that running back to the closet for every small thing isn't good for you or for the community, but yes I exaggerated. We all are closeted in front of certain people. It might be your old maths teacher, it might be you grandpa, or it might be your boss, but sometimes we just do not feel comfortable to express our sexual orientation in front of certain people. It is your right to decide with who you are going to share your intimate secrets. After all, your private life has nothing to do with other people and you may decide with whom you are going to share your preferences. In this regard you aren't running back to the closet - you are merely exercising your right of privacy.
Remember, just like you do not have to tell some bully that your father left your mother, you do not have to tell some homophobe that you are gay. There is no honor in being stupid. If telling someone is going to hurt you in some way; keep it to yourself.
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Monday, 28 July 2014

Friendship in the Lives of Gay Couples

Friendship is important
Recommend Article
Expert Author Brand Doubell
Married people know that you have to choose your friends wisely. A couple whose relationship isn't very strong can be tiresome for strong loving couples. Two couples who aren't very strong in their commitment can be asking for trouble, while two couples with strong marriages could be live long friends. In the relationships among gay men there is one thing that lesbians and straight couples do not have - two predators in the same couple. I know it is a bit of a stereotype to think that men are always the proverbial predators, but for some reason we do get that impression in therapy - therapy with many gay couples. A couple with two men often just have too much testosterone for its own good. If you want your relationship to last, you will have to be very careful in choosing your friends.
Among the girls this issue doesn't occur often, but it does occur. The girls don't have testosterone problems, but hitting on another girl's girlfriend is a problem among lesbians as well. I have to add that straight people shouldn't think it has something to do with the fact that our relationships are "unnatural" as they love to put it. This isn't something that only happens among gay folk, even though the conservative right might like to think so. It is also not something that only happens among liberals or non-religious people. Conservatives might be against swinging, but improper affairs aren't unknown among them. I will refrain from proving my point; it's hardly in my nature to throw stones at anybody.
The problem with the boys and the girls that struggle to keep it in their pants has led some gay couples to the point where lesbian couples befriend gay male couples. The same argument leads others to the idea that gay couples are the safest if they are friends with straight couples. Two lesbians do not have to fear that gay boys are going to meddle in their relationship and they do not have to fear that a straight couple would interfere in their relationship.
Unfortunately all these safety tips do not always work. For some reason it happens from time to time that a so-called straight guy that was happily married to a girl walks away with a gay guy, a lesbian, or another straight girl. Life can be terribly unpredictable. The beat safety tip is therefor to work on your relationship, to communicate regularly, and to make sure that your lover is happy. I have never believed that a third person breaks up a relationship - a third person walks away with your lover because your relationship was already broken.
The fact is that relationships do not always last for ever and it doesn't have to be one person's fault. Just like a relationship is between two people, it takes two people to make it work, and it takes two people to break it up. Gay relationships aren't any different - you need to work on them if you want them to survive.
As for friendship - it is one of the biggest blessings in life, but it can be a curse if your friendship shatters your closest relationship. It is just not worth it if it destroys your most precious relationship, but if it does, it wasn't meant to last for ever and that is part of the reality of life.
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